No one remembers why Gerard hates his birthday. He remembers, though...too clearly for his liking.
Many times, days are overlooked. They are treated as if they are insignificant; something to take for granted. If a day lacked the title of a holiday, then what was the point of it anyway? Couldn’t it just be skipped over; erased like pencil markings? Gerard wished it could be so. He wished the ninth day of April in 1977 could have been wiped away from existence so that he would disappear off the face of the earth. Needless to say, he hated his birthday. Nobody seemed to know however, that it had not always been this way. No one remembered when exactly the loathing of April ninth began, nor did they ever ask. Or maybe they just didn’t notice how depressed he was. Gerard remembered, though...too well for his liking. He was pretty sure his birthday was ruined forever, thanks to what had happened three years ago. Nevertheless, he didn’t like to spoil others’ lives. He would obligingly pretend to enjoy the parties his friends threw in celebration of his seemingly rapid aging. After all, aren’t birthdays supposed to be joyous occasions?
Shoving his hands into the pocket of his jacket, he let out a sigh into the cool spring air. His fingers clutched a yellow plastic bag, which held groceries from the nearby Superfresh; groceries which he really didn’t need to buy. The only reason he purchased the unnecessary items was because his wife—Lindsey—had ordered him to. Of course, she had told him they were required for dinner. He knew better than to believe her. While he had been away, major preparations were being made. Cakes would need to be delivered, guests would need to arrive, and decorations would need to be put up. It was just so obvious that a surprise birthday party was being arranged. Gerard smiled at how sweet the thought was. As he approached his house, he slowed his pace. He stopped completely, a few feet away from the front porch. He practiced faking a surprised expression. He also browsed through his library of exclamations he could yell out, choosing a particularly strange one. Taking a deep breath, he prepared himself for about five hours of forcing smiles and forgetting about that one reason why he hated his birthday.
After pressing his finger down on the door bell, he took a small step closer to the door. From inside, he heard a few voices; most prominently Lindsey’s, yelling for everyone to “shut the fuck up” and find a hiding spot. Slowly but surely, the front door creaked open, revealing darkness. Wearing a confused masquerade, he stepped inside. The lights flicked on. Immediately afterwards, the whole room erupted with the sound of people popping up out of nowhere.
“Surprise!” they all shouted in unison.
“Oh my fatherfucking shitcakes!” Gerard exclaimed, “For me?”
“Happy Birthday, Gee,” a soft female voice whispered from behind him, causing him to shiver a little bit. He turned around to face his wife, who immediately grabbed the back of his head and pulled him forward. Some spectators boldly wolf-whistled. Gerard’s mouth automatically stretched into a grin against her supple lips. He couldn’t feel his eyes smiling along though; obviously not. He was neither surprised nor overcome with happiness about this party, or this kiss. He was fucking miserable. Being careful not to let Lindsey know this, he broke away from her embrace. This apparently was the cue for music to begin playing in the background and guests to rush to his side. Somehow, he managed to give polite thank you’s and smiles as they showered him with gifts, kisses, and hugs. It was difficult; especially since he wasn’t sure he even knew half of them. On the other hand, this was extremely helpful in a way; none of them knew him well enough to know the small hint of despair in his eyes. Unfortunately, this good luck had to end. Gerard spun around, jumping back upon seeing one of his closest friends—Frank Iero; the man who could break silences, guitars, hearts, anything.
“Hey Mister Thirty-one year old!” Frank greeted cheerfully, “How is my bestest buddy doing today?”
Gerard made himself smile and lie, “Great.” He stared ahead, leaving the smile plastered on his face and pretending to listen when the shorter man began talking about God knows what. He was too busy drowning in his sinking heart to listen.
Frank was generally a very happy sort of guy, always ready to brighten anyone’s day. When his lips twitched into a grin or a deranged giggle, there was no way anybody could resist laughing as well. He knew that for a fact, and used it to his advantage most of the time. He knew nobody could stay upset if they were near him. However, today, he couldn’t help but wonder if Gerard could. He purposely cracked jokes so stupid they were funny, hoping to invoke a response from his friend. The only reaction he received was that obviously fraud grin, almost carved onto Gerard’s face.
He frowned worriedly, “Hey, are you all right? You look kinda low...”
“I told you already, I’m great, Frankie!”
Frank caused his arms across his chest, “No you’re not. I can see right through you, Gee. Tell me what’s wrong.”
Gerard’s mask cracked, right down the middle. His answer was coated with rage, more than anything, “Shut the fuck up, Iero. I said I’m fucking great.”
Frank’s eyebrows furrowed as he gave his friend a wave and swiveled around on his heel. He wondered why exactly Gerard always seemed so edgy on his birthday. The answer was most probably in the corner of his mind...somewhere...but he just couldn’t remember.
Gerard gazed after Frank and then exhaled a lungful of air. He turned around, only to slam right into Lindsey.
“Hey baby,” she twirled a strand of her dark hair around and around a pale finger, “I can’t wait ‘til this party is over, can you?” Seductively, she wrapped a tattooed arm around his waist.
He chuckled, but in a more grim way than he should have, “Yeah, I really can’t wait.”
A look of worry passed his wife’s beautiful face, “Honey, what’s wrong?”
“Nothing,” Gerard said defensively, “I’m okay, I promise.”
Lindsey was not convinced, but as of that moment, Gerard didn’t give a fuck. He leaned forward to peck her on the lips before excusing himself to the punch bowl. A nice, non-alcoholic drink ought to make him feel a little lighter. Moments later, his mood was even worse. He was having a very hard time pouring the drink into a cup. It was as if his skilled hands had somehow transformed into awkward ones. Everything just kept dripping out!
“Hey Gee, need some help?” the voice of one of the guests asked.
This simple question caused a bomb to explode inside of Gerard, “No! I’m fucking fine! Why can’t you all just leave me alone, for God’s sake?!”
An awkward silence fell into the room. Shaking his head out of annoyance, mostly at himself, Gerard marched away from the punch bowl. He walked straight past the dumbstruck partiers and out the door. He slammed it shut behind him, but only after he heard, “What about your cake?” Cake? Ha-ha. Cake; wasn’t that what life was supposed to be by this point? A piece of delicious ice-cream cake, fully equipped with rainbow sprinkles and brownie bits? He was thirty one years old now, growing older by the minute. He was successful, he was married, and on a shallower note, he was filthy stinking rich! But still, the cake was still absent; just like the happiness.
Walking along the empty sidewalk once more, heading towards a close by park. The setting sun darkened the atmosphere. It was a beautiful night; the sky painted in shades of pink and red. The scenery seemed unfitting for the way Gerard was feeling. For once he wished for a cliché; he needed to feel rain beating down on his skin. But wishes never really come true, do they? Upon reaching his destination, he found a secluded area, surrounded by looming trees. He took a seat on the edge of a wooden bench and pushed a hand into the pocket of his jeans. Quickly, he fished out his cell phone. He pressed numerous buttons until he reached his collection of photos. Scrolling down, he located the one he was searching for; the cause of all his problems. Bert McCracken.
Gerard stared for an entire hour, pressing down on random keys to keep the screen bright. It was a mere pixel image of the blue-eyed man, whom Gerard hadn’t seen or spoken to in three whole years. However two dimensional the photo was, the guy seemed so real...so close. Gerard could still remember his hair, his smile, the scent of cigarettes and alcohol which stained his breath. He could clearly visualize the soft lips which had kissed him many a time; the gentle hands which caressed his face with what he had believed at the time to be... love. Along with those achingly pleasant memories, he could recall the unpleasant ones too. The yelling, the lamps being thrown, all the stupid fights... He remembered how immature their final fight had been; over something as insignificant as who earned more money. He remembered the last words Bert had shouted to him, “I hate you!” No one else remembered how this last statement of fury and stubbornness had been hurled to Gerard on an April ninth; on his birthday.
The small display on the phone blacked out, just as a salty drop of water fell from Gerard’s eyes. The remaining ones poured down, like a rainstorm. He wouldn’t have been too disappointed if thunder started rumbling and a flash of lightning struck him, right then and there. God refused to grant him such a deathwish. Instead, more tears were produced. Just when Gerard felt as if he could die from sobbing so hard, he had another heart attack. His cell phone vibrated and sang loudly, frightening him quite a bit. Only after calming down did he pick the phone up to see who wanted to bother his weep-fest. His hazel eyes widened and his heart thudded audibly against his chest. It wasn’t possible...it had to be a hallucination. Before it could fade away, Gerard picked up. He could barely choke out a hello. The voice he heard stopped his heartbeat for a moment. Bert was talking.
Yeah, well there's that birhday one-shot I told ya about (well, if you read my other story anyway.) I liked the idea, but I'm not so sure if it came out like I planned, so let me know. I might change the ending around later anyway so you can ask for changes. Anyway, happy birthday to Gerard. I hope he really, really loves his birthday.
I disclaim rights to Gerard Way, Lindsey Ballato, Frank Iero, Bert McCracken, and whoever else I may have mentioned.
This story is pure fiction, never happened.
I also do not claim that the reason I stated was the real reason of The Used/MCR fight.